Partners Group exits Japan Solar – exclusive

The sale has netted Partners Group a 3.2x blended gross return following a $250m investment in 2014. It had invested in the Japanese platform alongside Equis Energy. The Swiss firm divested its stake in Japan Solar to a consortium led by Global Infrastructure Partners.

Partners Group has exited its investment in Japan Solar, a 610MW investment platform it majority owned alongside Equis Energy, to a consortium led by Global Infrastructure Partners, Infrastructure Investor first reported on Friday.

The deal has generated a 3.2 times blended gross return for Partners Group, which in January 2014 invested $250 million in the venture together with co-investors Babson Capital, LGsuper and Qantas Superannuation, as well as Equis Energy, recently acquired by the GIP-led team. A further investment from Partners Group led to it becoming Japan Solar’s largest shareholder.

“The successful sale of our stake in Japan Solar ahead of our original exit timeline provides an attractive return to our clients and endorses our strategy of platform-building in markets supported by transformative trends,” Benjamin Haan, partner, head of private infrastructure Asia at Partners Group, said in a statement released today.

More than 200MW of the Japan Solar portfolio is operational, with developer Nippon Renewable Energy building out the remainder of the 27-project platform. Four projects with a total capacity of 47.5MW seeded Japan Solar in 2014. Partners Group and Equis Energy decided to invest in Japanese solar following attractive incentives offered to new projects following the Fukushima nuclear disaster.

GIP recently closed a $5 billion deal for Equis Energy, which it bought with PSP Investments and the China Investment Corporation. The acquisition is the largest ever renewable energy transaction.

Partners Group’s sale is its third early realisation of an asset this month. The firm sold US solar platform Silicon Ranch to Shell for $217 million following its investment in April 2016, while it also offloaded its 21 percent stake in the Victorian Comprehensive Cancer Centre in Australia to AMP.